Sunday, November 10, 2013

Recipe Hoarding--Are You Guilty?

by Leann

The struggle in this rent house kitchen focuses a lot around the lack of a reliable stove (burners either do not work or have only two true settings--hot or too hot) and there is no prep space.

But the frustration I felt this week focused on my inability to find one of my favorite recipes. I have many many cookbooks which are all packed and inaccessible and though I tried to find this particular recipe online, I never found it. I had to improvise and it was an acceptable result, but just not the same. That inaccessibility to my recipes has made me realize I am a cookbook hoarder. In the past I called myself a "collector" but I now understand it goes beyond that. And I don't believe I am alone.

For all of my adult life, I have collected recipes that I cut from magazines and newspapers, recipes I got by subscribing to monthly recipe clubs (McCall's Cooking School is my favorite) and of course books both old and
new. I could spend hours thumbing through cookbooks and though pictures are nice, I don't need them. That's the sign of a true hoarder. Pictures not necessary.

I have recipes in little boxes, in scrapbooks and notebooks. I collected many of the Pillsbury
cookbooks that are sold at the grocery store checkout counter and in my hunt for a specific one of those little books, I bought a whole collection on eBay. It was a gold mine and I did get the one I wanted. It had a special cookie recipe in it that I have made for years and love. I lost the book (or it fell apart) and though I was able to write into the local newspaper that had a "Recipe Quest" column weekly and got the recipe, I still wanted that book. Hoarder. Yup.

When I visit my sister in Seattle every year, we always make time to go to a very special used bookstore that has a huge cookbook section. We spend hours there, sitting on the floor and looking through cookbooks. It's
a sister tradition! Low and behold one year, I was hunting and found a pristine edition of a cookbook that I had owned that had completely fallen apart. It was one that had been produced on a three ring binder. Someone had given it to me as a shower gift in the 1970's. You'd have thought I'd just won the lottery. Hoarder? Oh yes.

What about you? What do you "collect" that stretches beyond rational? Is it cookbooks? Or something else?